This is a continuation of the story started a few weeks back by Josephine. She has rewritten the first part and it is posted here. Her blog can also be found on my blog roll under the ‘Greatest Blogs EVER’ section. She writes, “Slummy Single Mummy” (Nods head to the right) If you want to read it in order, it is best to click on the link above, read her piece, then pop back, scroll to the bottom of the category “Camel Musings” and read in reverse order. Following a story shouldn’t be this difficult, but it is…sorry.
Chapter 2: Libby and the Rabbit
The moment that everything came unglued, Libby bolted from her pen, and streaked into the chaos. Quickly she bolted around a crumbling building, the sounds of disaster everywhere, she was filled with fright and excitement, mostly excitement.
The days at the zoo hadn’t been terrible. The food was good, the humans who kept an eye on her, were pleasant enough. The other animals were not at all unbearable, and she even liked a few of them. Libby had noticed that some of the other zoo residents, did seem to be jealous of her spectacular good looks. The koala bears, though adorable were not in her league, she knew it, and they knew it as well.
Libby laid across the granite counter, in the kitchen, of what she imagined had been a nice home for humans. The front of the house was gone, but the back, where the kitchen was, remained and Libby had perched on the counter because she was quite sure she looked fabulous there. There was also the possibility that, like her, some other creatures, might wonder wonder past and provide her with a spot of lunch.
After a couple of hours and a nap that could only be described as extraordinary, Libby decided that she had best move on. Out the side door, or more aptly, the side gaping hole, she strolled. Actually it wasn’t a stroll so much as a slink. Not only did she have the grace of a cat, but the poise of a model on a cat walk. Libby walked for a short while, past rows of houses in various states of coming apart at the seams, and across a field. She leapt onto a stone wall and walked it’s length.
At the end of the wall, she sat down, and looked out over the countryside. It was quite a view. The nap had been more than her typical cat nap, she had been quite exhausted, all the excitement had taken it’s toll. Now she felt alive, it was as if the entire world were opening up to her.
A few minutes of grooming, a hop and a leap across a couple of gaps in the wall, and she was off again. A sudden rustling in a row of hedges caught her attention. She got into stalk mode. A rabbit appeared and the chase was on. The rabbit who was really freaking out at the size of the cat chasing it, was motivated, and actually moved quicker than he even thought he could. There was a hole in the wall, he bolted through it. Libby easily leaped over and as she came down she saw the rabbit make a quick move left and into a tiny opening in a small building.
Libby had lost this one, and she was more than a little bit embarrassed. The rabbit was feeling lucky and his heart was beating like it normally does. He was fairly certain that he had used up all the luck in his four feet on that one. Libby was thankful for only one thing, that nobody had been around to see her disgrace. She walked a few laps around the shed and said to the rabbit, “You were lucky today sir, I was a bit off my game.”
The rabbit, not wishing to antagonize her, “No doubt, I am quite sure I was terribly over matched. It has been a pretty bad day, and getting eaten seemed like a reasonable end, but one I wanted to avoid if possible.”
This seemed to be a decent position for her prey to take, and she wasn’t that hungry anyway, so she stopped pacing and said, “You really are very speedy. I am not sure if I would have caught you. I am a bit out of practice, been living at the zoo.”
“Oh no madame, you would have certainly gotten me, had it not been for the fortuitous placement of this rather sturdy shed. I was already starting to tire. I am certain that my demise was at hand.” The rabbit was in the shed, under a wheel barrel, just barely peaking his nose out. His statement about the sturdiness of the shed, was more of a guess, with just a dash of wishful thinking.
Libby laid down next to the hole where the rabbit had entered the shed. She thrust a paw inside and waved it around quickly and pulled it back out. She wasn’t really trying very hard, and her claws weren’t even out. The rabbit still found the giant black paw a bit troubling. Libby said, “You are right it is a good hiding place, you were quite clever to pick it. I think you are being too hard on yourself, you did very well.” She rolled onto her back and stretched out a bit. The she started to purr.
The rabbit, who was still cowering in the shed, had noticed that the claws weren’t out, and it had seemed strange. The purring was almost more than he could bare. In all his years of being chased by hungry creatures, he couldn’t remember ever having a proper conversation with any of them. He also couldn’t remember a cat that was so freaking huge. “Madame, would it be a terribly rude of me to ask, what sort of cat are you anyway? I have seen and been chased by many a cat, but you are truly…” He paused, considering his words carefully, as he had almost said ‘huge’, but decided that might have sullied her sunny disposition, so he went with, “Magnificient.”
Libby had not ever had a conversation with anything she had tried to eat before. Most of the creatures she had tracked, she was certain, were much too frightened and uncultured to appreciate how ‘magnificent’ she truly was. So she rolled over and backed up a bit from the hole, and answered, “Why thank you sir, you are very kind. I am a black leopard. I am from Africa, but as I have said, have been living in the zoo of late.”
The rabbit could see out the little hole. He saw the giant black cat lying there and she didn’t look so threatening anymore, though he did consider the distinct possibility that it could be a trick. “I am not familiar with that type of cat, but I can say, you are much faster and more powerful than any cat I have ever seen. I am sure you will have no problem hunting in this area.”
“Are you from the area originally?” Libby asked, somewhat enjoying the rabbit’s company. It had been several years since she led her rather solitary life in the jungle, and she had grown custom to the banter at the zoo.
“Yes, I grew up in the woods beyond the fence and field.” He said, inching towards the door, he feared she might just be considering waiting him out, so he suggested, “Since we seem to be at an impasse here, and you haven’t eaten, might you be open to a suggestion from your humble prey, as to an alternative dinner?”
“To be honest, I am not terribly hungry at the moment, but it is very good of you to offer, so what is it?” Libby said as she rolled onto her back, twisted her head upside down and looked at the rabbit peering out of the hole.
The rabbit, having just made eye contact with the fearsome, yet incredibly personable hunter, froze. A few seconds later he found his voice and cleared his throat, “This house used to have several cats, and I know that the woman who lived here kept the food in the garage. You might give it a look, I would imagine there could be some easy food there.”
Having been fed for several years, had, though she didn’t like to admit it, dulled her hunting skills enough, that the idea of some easy food was intriguing to her. “That is an excellent idea.” Libby rolled over and stood up, slowly, and elegantly made her way to the house. She knew the rabbit was watching, and she had been called magnificent, so she was quite sure he expected a bit of glamour. Just before she reached the house, she turned back and said, “Thanks for your help sir, It has been very nice meeting you, instead of eating you…” She chuckled at her little joke.
The rabbit laughed nervously, “The pleasure, at not being eaten, was entirely mine.”
“What is your name?” She added, pausing before making the leap through a broken window.
“My friends call me Jackson. And your name Madame, if I may?”
“I am Libby.” And with the grace of a ballerina she lept through the window.